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Low-dose isotretinoin works for adult acne


Low-dose isotretinoin may be effective, with fewer side effects, when used to treat adult acne, results of a clinical trial presented at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology suggest.

Researchers with Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C., conducted a randomized, double-blind clinical trial that reportedly demonstrated oral isotretinoin at 5 mg per day is as effective, but with fewer side effects, than the standard dose of 0.5-1 mg/kg per day for low-grade adult acne, according to Ob.Gyn.News.

In 58 adult patients ages 25 to 55, researchers found those randomized to 16 weeks of low-dose treatment demonstrated acne lesion counts that were reduced by half within the first four weeks. By week 16, the treatment group’s mean acne lesion count had dropped to 3.2 from a mean baseline of 10.6. Following an additional 16 weeks of open-label therapy, the acne lesion count in patients in the treatment arm had fallen to 1.3.

In patients who received placebo, the mean acne lesion count did not change significantly over the first 16 weeks; however, when treated over the subsequent open-label 16-week period, the control group’s acne count fell to 3.9.

"Isotretinoin seems to me to be just as valuable a treatment in adults as in teenagers," co-investigator Steven R. Feldman, M.D., professor of dermatology, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is quoted by Ob.Gyn.News as saying. "My standard approach is to use it in the same way, though using it in lower doses for longer periods of time is reasonable and often effective with fewer side effects." DT

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